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48 Year-Old Blogger Has Gone 9 Years Without Spending Money


Green Lifestyle  (tags: )

Sir Walk
- 1905 days ago - treehugger.com
Daniel decided that he wanted to have nothing to do with money. So he gave up consumer culture altogether, and for the last 9 years, he's survived by living in a cave in Utah, and dumpster diving, foraging, fishing, and occasionally hunting for food.



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Sir Walk F. (124)
Tuesday October 6, 2009, 3:12 pm
Daniel Suelo wasn't poor, a victim of bad luck, mentally ill, or even uneducated. He just decided that he wanted to have nothing to do with money. So he gave up consumer culture altogether, and for the last 9 years, he's survived by living in a cave in Utah, and dumpster diving, foraging, fishing, and occasionally hunting for food. He spends his time in the great outdoors--and in the public library, where he blogs about it all.

Suelo must have the lowest carbon footprint of any blogger in the United States. And he's never taken food stamps or other government assistance, and despite what his lifestyle may lead you to believe, he's certainly not crazy. He's just got an aversion to money.

According to MatadorChange, he was working in South America when he was first moved to consider a money-free, zero impact lifestyle:

While in Ecuador on a Peace Corps mission, he witnessed a rural community acquire increased monetary wealth through farming and shift their traditional lifestyle towards a diet of unhealthy, processed food and a newfound addiction to television ... He made the conscious decision to return home, quit his job, and carve out a life without money.

Suelo himself writes "I've been living without a cent to my name since the autumn of 2000 (with a month's exception during my first year)" on the front page of the website he runs from the public library.

It's interesting to look at Suelo's nearly decade-long dedication to anti-consumerism in contrast to the recent 'eco-stunts' that essentially promote similar ideals: sure, No Impact Man learned how hard it is to walk up six flights of stairs to get to his apartment for a year, but he he got a film and book deal out of it. Suelo's got no cameras following him around, and he mostly just uses his blog to wax poetic about his living philosophy.

Of course, few would be willing to take such a plunge into a moneyless, ultra-low impact life. But simply knowing that Suelo has should be enough to make us think a long hard minute about all the stuff we heedlessly buy. Reverend Billy may be the head of the Church of Stop Shopping, but Daniel Suelo is its patron saint.
 

Amena Ravenwing (187)
Tuesday October 6, 2009, 3:43 pm
Good article. Thanks, Sir Walk.
 

Laurie W. (189)
Tuesday October 6, 2009, 4:05 pm
With children, or pets this extreme scenario is not probable,however any steps each of us can and do take added together will make a positive change.
Thanks SW for posting
 

Gissel Escudero (11)
Tuesday October 6, 2009, 5:25 pm
Good article, Sir Walk!

I wouldn't do it myself, but I usually think it twice before buying something I really don't need.
 

. (0)
Tuesday October 6, 2009, 5:27 pm
noted thank you
 

Karen S. (106)
Tuesday October 6, 2009, 6:34 pm
Thanx SW. An extreme fellow to say the least, but very interesting and very resourceful.
 

Sir Walk F. (124)
Tuesday October 6, 2009, 6:41 pm
certainly there is no ONE solution for everybody. We all must find the solution that works for us, as this man has.

 

mary f. (182)
Wednesday October 7, 2009, 1:22 am
great story
 

. (0)
Wednesday October 7, 2009, 2:02 am
Thannxx for this story... he has a wonderful life.. but what happens when he becomes old and gray and there is no one to look after him... one must consider all their options before embarking on this type of life... one looses their energy to as they get older and this is a hard way of life
 

Faith M. (167)
Wednesday October 7, 2009, 7:00 am
What an interesting human! Thanx Sir W for this story
 

Sir Walk F. (124)
Wednesday October 7, 2009, 8:04 am
here's another article oon the same man,

from : http://matadorchange.com/man-has-lived-9-years-without-money%E2%80%94social-rebel-or-simply-a-mooch/

Daniel Suelo, 48, has been living without money or any barter system, and no food stamps or government help, for the past nine years. While in Ecuador on a Peace Corps mission, he witnessed a rural community acquire increased monetary wealth through farming and shift their traditional lifestyle towards a diet of unhealthy, processed food and a newfound addiction to television.

The experience led Suelo on a spiritual quest that realized itself in India, where he was particularly moved by the Sadhus, wandering monks who renounce all money and possessions. He made the conscious decision to return home, quit his job, and carve out a life without money.

As he put it, “I simply got tired of being unreal. Money is one of those intriguing things that seem real and functional because two or more people believe it is real and functional.”

Photo: platschi

Today, Suelo lives in a cave in Utah and gets around by hopping trains or hitchhiking. For food he relies on dumpster diving, foraging, fishing, and, occasionally, hunting. From the public library he authors a blog and a website where he discusses his everyday life and offers up deep philosophical musings on why a society based on the concept of money is harmful and contrary to our true nature.

He says he’s never been happier, living like “ants and deer and slugs and sparrows and bacteria and atoms and galaxies.”

Though Suelo’s story is a particularly riveting one, less radical communities of “freegans” are cropping up in places like San Francisco and New York. These groups have risen out of a desire to boycott what is seen as an unethical corporate system and to minimize the waste of resources. To varying degrees, freegans salvage edible food from dumpsters, squat in abandoned buildings, and encourage a reconsideration of the benefits of leisure and play as opposed to excessive work.

These movements have not flourished without criticism. Freegans are often dismissed as freeloaders. Others assess the lifestyle as a way to deal with extreme liberal guilt while still living within the confines of privilege and comfort. Daniel Suelo frequently receives hate mail expounding him to get a job and stop mooching off society.

It’s a valid discourse. It’s nearly impossible to be completely self sufficient. Suelo frequently relies on hitched rides, a library that’s supported by taxes, and the various cast off excesses of consumer society. He dismisses that this devalues his philosophy, asking “Are swallows nesting in house attics dependent upon money?”

He cites that goods flow from producers (laborers) to bankers, brokers, and landlords who produce nothing. He frequently touts his lifestyle as a return to a way of living more in line with the natural world, a way towards freedom from things that don’t exist towards one of generosity and truth.

However, it can be argued that a system of barter is indeed a part of our nature. Our nearest relatives, the chimpanzee, frequently barter food for grooming and sex. Even Neolithic cavemen bartered. A return to a world without money would be possible only if human beings, like bees and ants, decided to utilize our skills equally so that we may benefit from each other freely.

Photo: scriptingnews

Knowing the history of humanity, however, it doesn’t seem that we can adhere to such noble principles. Furthermore, even without money or a bartering system, human beings could still find ways to oppress each other.

It’s also important to note that Suelo’s lifestyle would not work if he lived in a less monetarily wealthy country. Many people live with virtually no money, and there are no overabundant dumpsters or gifts from generous neighbors to compensate for a lack of “monetary illusion.” In those places, not being a slave to a piece of paper also results in starvation and death.

Many travelers often walk a thin line between admiring a community and romanticizing poverty. It’s possible to question whether Suelo’s motives lie in some kind of imperialist nostalgia towards the communities he encountered on his travels.

However, philosophically speaking it is true that we tend to live in a real-life matrix. Our society as a whole is comprised of things that exist only in our collective consciousness rather than in reality.
“It is interesting to witness someone who disagrees with conventional society to such a degree that he opts out of it completely.”

Take for instance, the idea of borders. In the 19th century, Native Americans referred to the border between Canada and the United States as the “medicine line” because they were perplexed that the American troops would chase them through the land but suddenly stop when they crossed that invisible line. They thought it was magic; to the Native Americans, all of it was just land.

Just like borders, money is a concept that becomes real only because we believe in it collectively. As Suelo says, “If a dollar bill represented itself, it would no longer be money. It would simply be a piece of paper with pretty art on it.” The fact that people will kill each other and ruin the earth for an abstract concept seems almost ludicrous when analyzed from that angle. It’s downright maddening when multiple psychological studies confirm the old adage that money really does not buy happiness.

Who really understands our complex monetary system, other than the few who benefit tremendously from such knowledge? Henry Ford once said, “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” Rarely do we ever question our entire financial system until some kind of disaster, like the current economic recession, sparks the discussion.

Regardless of any stance, it is interesting to witness someone who disagrees with conventional society to such a degree that he opts out of it completely.

 

Sir Walk F. (124)
Wednesday October 7, 2009, 8:11 am
oh, duh, and here's his actual blog, which is a very interesting read:

http://zerocurrency.blogspot.com/
 

Jack Spratt (46)
Wednesday October 7, 2009, 1:19 pm
my New HERO!
Jesus what a guy
who could live without all the crap
that defines US today
our slavery, adoration, idolization & soooooooooooooooooooomuch more!?&@#*!
Who in God’s Name cares for it all that we are seduced into sucking up every bit of waste here created
smothering Creation to steal our lives & souls so some who adore celebrity power wealth money horde it and kill for more in the name of their AUTHORITY! & more
MORE!
ah FU &
the ‘civilization/culture’ of greed
 

Sir Walk F. (124)
Wednesday October 7, 2009, 2:25 pm
Couldn't a said it better meself.
 
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